How Resort Fees are Backfiring on Vegas and Hotel Requests of the Rich & Famous

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About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Your link to the Las Vegas resort fee story is no longer accessible…

    “We’re sorry! The page you are looking for cannot be found. ”

    Since it was on a local Las Vegas outlet, I wouldn’t doubt that the station “got a call” to kill the story or else. The resort fees are a ENORMOUS SCAM, the FTC has done nothing about it, and locals in Vegas don’t really care, cause tourists just come to have a good time and “pay whatever”.

    You’ll see billboards in Vegas advertising rooms from XXX and on up, but there’s no disclosure AT ALL of any resort fees.

    I put up a post on Yelp in the past year at a Vegas hotel re their misleading advertising resort fees, and Yelp took it down.

    It’s a HUGE rip off. And no one cares. The amount of money it generates is enormous.

  2. The resort fee thing is a scam in that who it really screws are those booking on points and such as there are very few exceptions of them being waived. I think that when we are footing the bill every reader of these types of blogs is smart enough to add it into the totals of comparing rates.

  3. We park for free at the El Cortez downtown; granted, we play there, but we stay and eat well – for comps. As for the strip, you can always take a $2 bus (not the tourist one for $6 each way) and get dropped off near the Fashion Mall/Palazzo OR near the MGM. Just have to do your research. Not perfect, but cheaper….

  4. And while I loved Cosmo (easy example) they now act like they’ve never had a struggle in their past. They forget loyalty when the economy is good and folks are flush with cash. As far as I’m concerned, i’ll cut my Vegas travel to special group events until after the next recession. Vegas needs to be smarter. They’re going to be the next Atlantic City if they keep it up. Let a few casinos pop up in Florida or more in the northeast and you can really watch Vegas crumble under all of its glitter.

  5. I just came from Vegas-attended the Interop conference. Room was comped, but resort fee was $35 and resort fee tax was another $4.69 per day. I paid over $180 for my free room. All the games felt tighter, so overall experience wasn’t all that much fun. I used to go every 3-4 months, but this was my first visit since last November. I don’t think I’ll be back anytime soon…..

  6. I avoid hotels with resort fees. Another thing that will kill vegas hotels are corporate policies. Most vegas hotels require deposits for reservations. When your corporate concur policy is set to restrict access to many on strip vegas hotels.

  7. AFAIK the only hotel on the strip that doesn’t charge a resort fee is Best Western Casino Royale and the only one on Fremont St. (Downtown) is Four Queens. I always get the fee waived by letting them know how slow the internet is. If they’re specifically telling me that I’m going to pay $30-40/day for “high speed internet” and I’m only able to get .25 mbps, they better be prepared to waive that fee.

  8. Those rich and famous hotel requests just goes to show you that income tax is way too low and capitalism is an inherently unethical and exploitative system. Income inequality can only get so large until we have worldwide socialist revolution, comrade.

  9. Totally agree. I don;t think anyone has an issue with paying for parking or upsell on pool/gym,/spa use but to forcefully tack it on – if you cannot turn it down, it’s NOT a fee but a tax or a charge. While the airlines charge you for used-to-be-free, you can still buy a ticket at the price listed, you decide how much luggage youre willng to pay for … should be the same wit hotels.

  10. Maybe I’m weird but I would prefer to pay $100 for a room, inclusive of amenities than to pay $60 for a room plus $40 for amenities I won’t use such as internet and pool access and the glorious “free local calls”! Because now, mentally, I think the room is only worth $60 and I’m getting nickel and dimed for more.

    Regarding parking fees: seems like game theory is in order here. An individual property might benefit directly by adding parking fees, and also keeping guests on property by having more folks taxi/uber/lyft instead of renting a car. But the LV experience as a whole is diminished. Just as the NFL understands the league is the product, not the individual team, LV can make the LV experience the product, mote than the individual properties. Wouldn’t a visitor that visits MORE restaurants, retail, casinos, and entertainment enjoy themselves and spend more?

  11. Yeah, someone needs to sue and win a nice big fat false advertising suit that costs the hotel industry some serious cash before they knock it off with the resort fee nonsense. It is part of the room rate. The only reason to call it a resort fee is to deceive.

  12. The FTC needs to get off its rear end and ban the practice of lying about hotel room prices. Some are surely just playing “me too” and going along for competitive reasons, and would be glad to see the scam banned for everybody. I resolutely refuse to stay anywhere with the scam fees, which means I haven’t been to Vegas in quite a while. You really can go through life without Vegas, you know. Try it.

  13. In July, we will staying at Caesar’s for 5 nights. Total cost is all resort fees of $221.09. I’ll be looking for an upgrade as it is a base room. But if the upgrade doesn’t happen, I will ask to have the resort fee removed. Vegas hotels still have not figured out that these fees are hurting their business. That $221 would be spent in the casino and probably way more. Or, I could use Gary’s line, that I’m feeling lucky tonite. Do something for me to make me feel even luckier!

  14. Just as Trump properties are largely for those who have looted money and believe they can purchase social standing, Vegas is primarily for those who want to demonstrate they have $$ and don’t mind being ripped off.
    Incidentally on your top 10 international flights I see you show Hong Kong Shanghai. Wonder what the PRC makes of that or HKG-TPE

  15. Big reason resort fees exist is that they aren’t commissionable. Given that some are 30%, it’s a nice way to screw middleman.

  16. Resort fees are a scam & the only way they disappear is if people stop paying them (ie skip Vegas). Alternatively, complain about the scam all the time at check-in check-out & as for the manager every time. If 50% of the guests demanded to talk to the manager at check-in & check-out imagine the process.

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